THE CASE OF THE RABBI'S DAUGHTER
A Shylock and Gnomes Mystery
Solomon Shylock, Solly to everyone in Cable Street and its neighbourhood, blamed it on the upcycling work he undertook – picking apart used garments bought for a few bob a sack from one of the rag and bone men who worked around Bloomsbury; the fabric thus liberated could, depending on type and size, be re-made into any of forty or fifty different products, any one of which would sell for more than the price of the original gown. dress, suit, or whatever it had once been a part of: "you don't know what's in them and sitting cross-legged, working so closely, you're a windsucker, breathing in everything that's come into contact with it, so the doc at Spitalfields says I've got pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis," and "what's that when it's at home?" asked Bernie Gnomes, the Irish – well, his father who came to London as a young boy fifty years ago had indeed come from Ireland - Coster who ran the family fruit and veg barrow outside Shylock's Bespoke Tailoring seven days a week, "it's Death," replied Solly and shook his head, "and already I feel it's cold hand gripping my lungs, but I ain't gonna go without a fight, Bernie, I've got Rachel and the girls to feed, not to mention - but you twist my arm, so I will - old man Tozer, Rachel's father, he's family so I got no choice, but I've told the suppliers, no more business, I'm only taking new tweed, worsted, and some cotton for shirts, less turnover cos it's all bespoke, but more gelt per garment, enough for me and Manny," his assistant, Manny Weiss, a few years younger but a good worker; "so did the doc give you medicine?" – asked Bernie, "oy vey, the size of them, like gobstoppers, and got to be swallowed whole," replied Solly, "but I'm in the hands of the demiurge!" and Bernie looked puzzled, then said"do you mean God, Yahweh, isn't it?" and Solly shot him a glance, "we never say his name, Bernie, don't try to trick me into it, only synonyms, you know what they are?" and Bernie laughed. "my English was always better than yours at school, boyyo, so don't try to pull the wool over my eyes, keep it for underpants!" and patted his friend on the shoulder: "but did you hear about young Dora Siegel?" and Solly shook his head, "the Pulitzer Rebbe's daughter? she hasn't eloped with that Finkelstein boy?" but Bernie didn't laugh, "they found her body last night in a drain this side of the Fleet, no-one saying anything officially, probably don't want to upset the family, but a friend of mine works in the morgue and he says she was probably raped and strangled," and he reflexively crossed himself, "nothing to do with Finkelstein, he was at Shul when she disappeared and plenty of people vouched for him, the Police are searching for witnesses or evidence, but the Peelers aren't much use unless you commit a murder right in front of them, and they don't run away and hide in case you come after them – I've no time for them, and that new Inspector they've appointed, Estrange, he's a bit of a dandy and just as useful," well," said Bernie, "we don't have much call for fashionable clothes around here, so if you get wind that he's looking for some new schmutter, send him to me, I'll run him up a real bobby dazzler!"